A Daily Genesis

Genesis 47:7b-13

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[B][COLOR=#ff0000]†. [/COLOR]Gen 47:7b . . and Jacob blessed Pharaoh[/B]

As a rule, the lesser is blessed of the better (Heb 7:7). However, it's possible for the better to be blessed by the lesser too. (e.g. Ps 16:7, Ps 26:12, Ps 34:1, et al). It all depends on the nature of the blessing. There's nothing a man can do to improve God's lot in life, but there's certainly a lot God can do to improve a man's lot in life; however, either can say nice things about the other.

Precisely what form Jacob's blessing took is difficult to know for certain; but it could have been something like: Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and over every living creature that moves on the ground (Gen 1:28) or maybe: God give thee of the dew of heaven, and the fatness of the earth, and plenty of corn and wine; let people serve thee, and nations bow down to thee; be lord over thy brethren, and let thy mother's sons bow down to thee; cursed be every one that curseth thee, and blessed be he that blesseth thee (Gen 27:28-29) or even as simple as: Let my lord the king live forever. (1Kgs 1:31)

[B][COLOR=#ff0000]†.[/COLOR] Gen 47:8-9a . . And Pharaoh said unto Jacob: How old are you? And Jacob said unto Pharaoh: The days of the years of my pilgrimage are an hundred and thirty years: few and evil have the days of the years of my life been, and have not attained unto the days of the years of the life of my fathers[/B]

The word "evil" isn't restricted to moral awfulness; but can indicate hard times as well as just plain old bad luck (cf. Job 5:7, Isa 45:7). The days of Jacob's life weren't totally disagreeable, though he makes it sound like that.

However, he did spend a good number of years in the outdoors, in all sorts of weather, tending herds. That's not an easy life. Then there was the grief visited upon him by the sons of his own flesh; Dinah was no help either. And the peace in his home wrecked by the tension caused by the bitter sibling rivalry between his wives Leah and Rachel; not to mention all the headaches uncle Laban contributed.

Jacob also endured the latter years of his life with a handicap resulting from his encounter with a divine being in chapter 32. It's odd how human nature tends to dwell upon its misfortunes instead of spending more time reflecting upon its blessings. For some, the glass is half empty, and for others it's half full, and yet for others: the glass is too big.

At this point in his life Jacob is wore out: he's winding down, and ready to retire. Aging folks tend to be a little on the negative side, and sometimes dwell more on the bad memories rather than the good. It's wise to consider that the aged weren't born that way. In reality; they're children who've been alive for a long time. When I was a kid, I tended to think that senior citizens were a species; not appreciating, till later in life, that I was actually looking at my future.

[B][COLOR=#ff0000]†.[/COLOR] Gen 47:9b . . in the days of their pilgrimage.[/B]

Jacob's use of the word "pilgrimage" reflects the cruel reality that none of us comes into this world to stay. We're here for a while, but that's all: just a while.

"Where are your forefathers now? And the prophets: do they live forever?" (Zech 1:4-5)

"For what is your life? It is even a vapor, that's visible for a little time, and then vanishes away." (Jas 4:14)

[B][COLOR=#ff0000]†.[/COLOR] Gen 47:10 . . And Jacob blessed Pharaoh, and went out from before Pharaoh.[/B]

Just how impressed Pharaoh was with Jacob is difficult to know, but the king had to wonder to himself just how on earth a genius like Joseph could ever arise from such humble root stock as this broken down, insignificant old man who just walked out of his court. But one thing I know for sure: of the two men; Jacob holds the higher rank in the grand scheme of things.

[B][COLOR=#ff0000]†. [/COLOR]Gen 47:11-12 . . So Joseph settled his father and his brothers in Egypt and gave them property in the best part of the land, the district of Rameses, as Pharaoh directed. Joseph also provided his father and his brothers and all his father's household with food, according to the number of their children.[/B]

Jacob's clan nourished themselves with seafood too.

"We remember the fish we ate in Egypt" (Num 11:5)

[FONT=Garamond][B]NOTE[/B][/FONT][B]:[/B] My early childhood was cultured on John Wayne and cowboy westerns in which the native Americans were usually either Apache or Comanche, dwelling in arid regions nowhere near an ocean. Imagine my surprise to learn of the Wampanoag people of Massachusetts baking clams centuries before the first Europeans invaded their land.

Joseph's family lived in an area also known as Zoan (Ps 78:12) which was up in the north, near the Mediterranean Sea in the East Nile delta. The area had access to the sea, and there was lots of water and wetlands; so that seafood and migratory fowl were never in short supply. Actually, all told, Jacob's family fared quite well in Egypt in spite of the famine's overall severity. Meanwhile, the famine wrecked everybody else.

[B][COLOR=#ff0000]†.[/COLOR] Gen 47:13 . .There was no food, however, in the whole region because the famine was severe; both Egypt and Canaan wasted away because of the famine.
As mentioned earlier back in chapter 41, famines are usually the natural result of insufficient rainfall.

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